Squaw’s Ganong posts season-best fifth place in Germany
Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong raced to a season-best fifth place on Saturday in World Cup downhill on the Kandahar track in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Ganong, 31, led the U.S. Alpine Ski Team at the event and after a slow start out of the gate, made up significant time down the middle section and bottom of the venue.
“It’s kind of frustrating to be .45 of a second out on the first 13 seconds and then coming into the finish .27 out, so for sure I left a lot of time on the hill,” said Ganong in an interview with U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “But, I’m really happy with how I skied and it’s always good to have a good result here. There’s always this mystique around Garmisch of being dark and bumpy and gnarly … for my style of skiing, it really works here. I like it a lot.”
Ganong finished the race with a time of 1 minute, 39.58 seconds.
“The Kandahar has been good to me! Fired up to finish 5th today, only 0.27 of a second from the win,” Ganong later posted to his Instagram account.
Germany’s Thomas Dressen, 26, defended his home slopes, winning the event with a time of 1:39.31.
“Even with the shortened race, it was still almost a full-length downhill at 1:40, and it’s amazing how tight the race was,” Ganong told U.S. Ski & Snowboard.
“I think the conditions ended up being really good today, and everyone was pushing. The level is really high in downhill right now, there are different guys on the podium and winning every week, so it’s really competitive. I’m not sure how tight it is behind me, but it’s always nice to be that close to a podium … it’s amazing how competitive it is. The amount of guys that are skiing really, really well and pushing is at an amazing level right now, so it’s always good to have a good result when the level is that high.”
Ganong won downhill on the Kandahar track in 2017, and then missed the race the following year due to a knee injury.
“The last time I raced here was the year I won, because the next year I blew out my knee, and the next year was cancelled … I have really good feelings on this hill, it just really makes sense to me,” Ganong told U.S. Ski & Snowboard. “The really fast sections into one big turn where you have to nail the timing and carry speed to the next section…yeah, I had good feelings today. The season’s almost coming to an end now, we have two more downhills before finals, and it’s really good to just have a nice solid result, score a bunch of points, and put myself in a good position for the end of the season and next year, too. I’m really happy with my race, and I guess I like this hill a lot.”
Fellow Squaw Valley skier, Bryce Bennett, 27, finished in 23rd with a time of 1:40.47.
The men’s alpine World Cup circuit will next head to Chamonix, France this weekend for a round of slalom and parallel giant slalom.